Free-agent outfielder Michael Bourn and super-agent Scott Boras are seeking at least a five-year contract, which is longer than the New York Mets are willing to go, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post:
Latest on Michael Bourn negotiations: He wants at least five years, and Mets aren't willing to go there.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) January 28, 2013
Bourn's contract demands may be the final nail in the coffin for the Metropolitans' interest in the outfielder. The club has been kicking the tires on Bourn a little more than a week now, but has run into a few major roadblocks along the way.
The club petitioned Major League Baseball last week for an exception to the new CBA's rules about draft pick compensation, but all signs pointed towards the league denying their request for protection of their top pick. The top 10 picks in next year's draft are protected. The Mets had the 10th worst record in baseball last year so under normal circumstances they would have the 10th pick, but since the Pirates failed to sign first-round pick Mark Appel last summer they get to bump New York to the 11th spot.
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GM Sandy Alderson stated recently that the club is "very reluctant" to give up their top pick to sign Bourn, so the fact that they cannot meet his asking price as well pretty much puts the kibosh on his heading to Queens.
If the Mets are indeed out of the running, that leaves the Seattle Mariners as the only club known to have not ruled out the speedy center fielder.